Review: The Damned Things – Ironiclast

The Damned Things

The Damned Things, the love child of Anthrax, Fall Out Boy and Every Time I Die members, closed the year with their debut release, “Ironiclast.”

About a month after, we avoid the hype and examine whether or not this baby should have been aborted, and if it’s worth your money (or at least your time).

The Damned Things - Ironiclast

The Damned Things – Ironiclast

So, The Damned Things… On paper, this project sounds like an odd union – Anthrax with their thrash riffs, Every Time I Die with their metalcore edge, and Fall Out Boy with their blackened death rhythm machinery (haha) don’t seem like the match made in heaven (or hell, for that matter). But don’t get fooled, the end result is not so ironic after all.

What we got here (does this count as a pun?) is actually not so much a rough copy/paste of elements taken from aforementioned bands, and not surprisingly so. The project goes a few years back when Fall Out Boy guitarist Joe Trohman met Scott Ian, and they started the idea of the band. Other members joined soon after (except the bass player Josh Newton, which has been “officially” added to the band after their first touring cycle, around the time of the album release actually — the bass played on album is handled by Rob Caggiano). So, to say that this was a quick cash in on their part would not seem rightful, even though having such a mix is, and will be a target for easy jokes.

And the music, you might ask? Don’t get fooled – this is not metal. Okay, not really metal. Besides the occasional guitar work reminiscent of  standard heavy metal solo standards (“Handbook for the Recently Deceased“) and Keith Buckley’s “usual” vocal style (“Ironiclast,” “Graverobber”), this is just a catchy hard rock album. Actually, from the first song on (already mentioned “Handbook…”), you get the idea of what this album is like. The other songs follow a similar pattern. We’ve already mentioned that this is a new project when it comes to the album release, but that the people behind it have been together in it for quite some time, and it shows. Other songs play along that line, at times sounding like the stuff you’d probably hear on the radio (a weaker song with a “great” title in my opinion, “A Great Reckoning” fits that description, though other songs like “We’ve Got a Situation Here” and “Bad Blood” remain easy on the ear, without sounding generic, and that includes the most generic tool of a catchy song — hand claps in the latter song).

We’ve got a coolvideo here

They really do seem to have found a common language — Anthrax brings their guitars, and finds a way to blend in with Fall Out Boy’s pop sensibilities. Don’t get scared because of this, and ask yourself one thing: Would you rather have The Damned Things as a separate project, or would you want the new Anthrax or Every Time I Die entering this “mainstream radio” game on their own? Didn’t think so. Keith Buckley is the last important ingredient in this mix, and he actually does a great job. Surprised? Well, don’t be, Every Time I Die showed hints of his full vocal range, this project just has an accent on the “softer” side of things. His lyrical style is also present, though just like singing, it’s simply went a slight shift towards an easier-to-grasp territory. Does that make it dumbed down? I’d say no, but I’m not the smartest person in the world, so you be the judge of that.

Another thing I’d take as a pro is the album length – 9 songs, and about 40 minutes of music guarantee you won’t get bored listening to it or stop mid album to play Farmville or download some other album.

Finally, the question remains, is this worth your time? I’d say yes. Following the kid metaphor from the beginning of this article, The Damned Things might not be the brightest kid in class, and they might get bullied every now and then, but you’ll learn to love them anyway.

Stand out tracks: Bad Blood, We’ve Got a Situation Here, Little Darling, Graverobber

For fans of: Take a wild guess.


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